How much coffee should you drink to live longer?

A new scientific study shows that drinking coffee helps you live longer.

Of course, this finding shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. As I often report, ongoing studies show coffee significantly helps prevent heart disease, Type II diabetes, dementia, and common cancers. In my view, it’s one of the best, natural, healthy aging approaches out there.

Still, naysayers persist in trying to see drinking coffee as some sort of vice. I just heard some politically correct pundits on NPR trying — unsuccessfully — to get a Harvard public health researcher to say something negative about coffee. But, he and I stay with the science.

I observed how to work with just the facts from my mentor, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop, during the Reagan Administration. (It was probably the last time anyone in Washington really used that type of approach in making public policy and health recommendations — until now.)

Dr. Koop personally had a strong moral and spiritual foundation, but he always said he was the chief doctor, not the chief preacher, for the nation. Moralistic, prohibitionist attitudes about supposed “vices”— like alcohol, coffee, and even eggs — have no place in presenting the science.

Coffee drinkers gain big increases in longevity

The new study included 19,896 participants with an average age of 38 years at the start of the study. The researchers gathered data on diet, lifestyle factors, weight, height, as well as waist and hip circumference. And then they followed participants for the next ten years.

Turns out, participants who consumed at least four cups of coffee per day had a whopping 65 percent lower mortality risk compared to those who never or rarely drank coffee. Plus, researchers observed a dose-effect response, with a 25 percent lower mortality risk for every two cups of coffee participants drank per day.

They also found a significant relationship to age. Specifically, participants 45 years or older who drank an additional two cups of coffee per day had a 30 percent lower risk of mortality. But the association wasn’t as strong among younger participants.

As you know, there is plenty of “bull” in a lot of modern research. But not in this new study. Even though it was conducted by researchers with the Hospital de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, where the bulls run amok. Of course, I’m referring to the running of the bulls staged in Pamplona every July 4th, which Hemingway famously described in The Sun Also Rises.

On July 4, 1972, I took the train to Pamplona. But I couldn’t even make it onto the rail platform because of the rowdy crowds carousing and fighting. (Hemingway would have been happy.) So, I simply observed the scene from the passing train and moved on into the night. (Story of my life.)

Healthy aging with coffee

Without a doubt, the new science on the benefits of drinking coffee is impressive. Indeed, drinking coffee stands out among all the important, practical and achievable steps you can take every day, starting today, to increase your longevity.

And, if you’re over 45 and want some practical, “healthy aging” approaches, make sure to drink three to four cups of coffee per day. (I prefer the term “healthy aging” over the over-hyped use of “anti-aging.” If you’re against aging, doesn’t that mean you favor the alternative — not aging at all? Another term for that is “mortality” — or, simply, dying.)

I find drinking two to three cups in the morning and then one or two with (or after) lunch is a practical approach. Most likely, it won’t keep you from falling asleep at night. And it could actually do more good for your heart, blood sugar and longevity than getting an extra hour of exercise. (As you’ll recall, last month I told you about the study that found drinking coffee also improves blood sugar control.)

For more effective methods to increase your longevity and long-term health, be on the lookout for my in-depth healthy aging protocol. I’m currently working on gathering all of the best science on this topic (including this new finding on coffee), and will be sure to let you know when the full protocol is ready. So stay tuned!



“Higher coffee consumption associated with lower risk of death,” European Society of Cardiology ( 8/27/2017